Policing, Pandemic And Polls On This West Virginia Morning


On this West Virginia Morning, across the country many Black Lives Matter advocates are pushing for a tool that helps citizens police the police — a citizen review panel. One town is West Virginia has had one for decades. Also, in this show, we hear regional reports on the coronavirus pandemic and voter turnout.

The U.S. is inundated with a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases. In the Ohio Valley, governors have pleaded with residents to wear masks to avoid more shutdowns. As Corinne Boyer reports, state officials worry that the next couple of months will be the worst since the pandemic began.

Election officials in the Ohio Valley expect higher than usual voter turnout in the region for this presidential election. It’s not a high bar to cross. Voter participation in much of the region is significantly lower than the national average and, in some places, among the lowest in the country. In many Ohio Valley counties, especially in the Appalachian region, the majority of eligible adults don’t vote. Alana Watson reports on what keeps people from the polls and the impact it has on the region.

In West Virginia, like many states, advocates want citizen review panels for local police. Local officials usually shoot this down, citing state law. But a few exist. Emily Allen investigated one of the state’s only panels for civilian oversight in the small southern town of Bluefield. Over the next two days we’ll learn more about this group, its history, and what it has and has not accomplished.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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